A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the tag “David Suzuki”

Are your goals and ambitions leading to happiness?

Ask people what would make them happy, and depending on what the persons age is, and where  person lives you might get a different answer. Ask a child and they might say an ice cream on a hot summer day. The same child a few years later, playing in their first sports tournament, might say they want to win. Ask them when graduating from High School, and many might say a date for the prom. As a young adult with their post secondary degree, the answer would be a career that is challenging, and rewarding. When that person is getting into what they hope is a lifelong relationship, the list probably will have several goals, some of which will vanish when the first child arrives. A child has been born, and now some of the parents hopes and dreams are focused on the child, in many cultures it is what the child or even the grandchildren in that culture achieve that determines your success. Later in life, the goals may simply be to be free from the daily aches and pains, or they may include a bucket list that has to be filled.

As a Buddhist, when doing actions during the course of my day, I not only keep in mind my own aspirations, but also the benefit and welfare of others.  Rather than pray for something to happen, I have a firm and strong aspiration that a thing be accomplished. An initial wish, is reinforced with firm determination and a strong desire. Unlike a prayer or supplication, a wish has more the attributes we would find in meditation or contemplation. This causes the wish to become a desire, which permeates the mind, causing it to focus on accomplishing the goal.

Individually we can focus our minds to achieve happiness, but what about as a family, each person with their own desires? If the family has a common set of values to base their decisions on, then harmony is much easier to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if those core values are defined from following Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, or any other path, as almost any of these have the same core values. The approaches are different, and we may not agree with the path another chooses, but we should respect their choice. As the Dalai Lama has stated:  “It is better to stick with the wisdom traditions of one’s own land than to run from them pursuing in exotica what was under your nose all the time.”

As we look a lager groups from the family, to our community, to our nation and finally our planet, happiness for all is more difficult to contemplate, and even more so to achieve. Yet, it is within the grasp of all of us, to achieve this ambitious goal. H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, presented us with a way of looking at Buddhism, as consisting of three parts. In his view Buddhism can be divided into Buddhist science, Buddhist philosophy, and Buddhist religion. Of the three he says Buddhist religion is concern of Buddhists, while the science and philosophy portions can and should be shared with all. This with the view that wisdom can be found in all religions, as well as science, gives us a way of building on our common values and believes, while learning and adopting the best practices from other paths.

Look at the world today, and we see it becoming more fragmented. We see it defined as East and West, North and South, or first through third worlds. You have the generation gap, including Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y to name a few. Yet unlike earlier times, we have larger houses, with smaller families, and fewer generations under the same roof becoming the norm. In the past the grandparents were a valued member of a household, helping with the running of the house, and acting as mentors to the children. Today in an ever increasing part of the world, the elderly are shuffled off to care homes, retirement villages, seniors lodges and other terms to describe the isolation from their offspring. Children are left with neighbors, and more commonly in day cares or after school care. Then we wonder why there is no continuity to the family.

Nations are preoccupied with the development of a larger Gross Domestic Product, or more commonly referred to as G.D.P. Companies move production and services to other jurisdictions within the same country or to another country to take advantage of lower wages, less government regulation, laxer environmental standards, all in the name of maintaining or preferably increasing the return to it’s shareholders. For a look at the role consumers play in this dance, check out my  29 April 2103 post. Sometimes companies use legal methods to lower their taxes, by locating an office in a jurisdiction with a lower tax rate, as recently confirmed in a Canadian court ruling. Alberta loses battle for 120 million in corporate taxes. It is more common to use off shore offices to carry this out.

Yet there are hopeful signs, like a star in the night sky. I will leave you with the words of a person who I have written about as someone I admire, David Suzuki and a post from the organization he helped found: Tiny Bhutan redefines progress.

Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines!

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

Here is a link to the article: http://o.canada.com/2013/01/11/canada-at-150-suzuki-sees-a-nation-facing-an-apocalyptic-period/

Life seems to take many swings in different directions as we travel through it. To me it’s like a clock pendulum swinging from side to side, only briefly in the middle, as it inexorably swings to the left or right. As a Buddhist I try to walk the middle path, through life, and being an environmentalist I try to leave as light a foot print as I can as I walk along the earth. There are some who denounce the environmental movement by claiming that we would all have to live like cavemen, while others who attack every corporation as pillagers of the planet. Anyone who has experienced a Canadian winter with temperatures of -30 or lower knows we need to use energy to live through these periods. That said, we can design buildings to be energy efficient, and our communities to be net zero, where the community produces the same amount of energy as it consumes. Edmonton Alberta is redeveloping its old downtown airport, and after an international competition which attracted firms from around the world, chose this concept, with the city retaining the developers role, to make sure the standards are met. Take a look at the concept, as it shows what we can carry out with existing technology, and planning. Corporations are accountable to shareholders for profits, they are also accountable to the communities they are is to make sure that the environment does not suffer, from their activities.

What can we as people do, a lot more than most of us think we have the power to do. Speak up, during any debate about development, hearing about new business licenses, speak up demanding the government make sure the community does not suffer an environmental disaster, while the profits flow out of the community.  Some of the North American First Nations, had a seven generation outlook when making a decision, in that will this be good for those who follow in seven generations? Look at your children, and think what type of world do you want to leave for them? In 961 Jane Jacobs wrote her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, where she showed that everything needs to be balanced and connected for people to have healthy places to live and work in safety. It’s time we head the lessons of the past as David Suzuki, pointed out in his look at Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday, and decide where we want to be heading by that milestone, for Canada has the opportunity, and the obligation as a developed nation to be a leader in responsible economic development.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margret Mead

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/daily-prompt-short-story/

Daily Prompt: My Hero!

I’m going to do a slightly different take on this topic.

When I was a child, my hero was my dad. I grew up in a family, where today I would have been called a latch key kid. He worked as a chef, so was usually gone when I woke up 5 days a week, and some days didn’t get home till late. Even though he was tired, he always had a smile when seeing mom and myself. He would help with the household chores, as mom deserved a day off as well, even when she wasn’t also working outside the home. He taught me the usual things, including the basics of self defense, however he also taught me that fighting was only to defend a life, and never to make someone do as you wanted them to do. He lived what he preached, and today I see a lot of him in myself, so even though he’s been gone for several years, he is still with me everyday.

As I grew older, I had the usual super heroes as heroes. However I knew they were fictional. At one time I even vacillated between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Logic won that argument, I just had to be the Captain. Then different sports figures had their day at the top of the list.

Most of my adult years, I chose people who I admired, here’s a list of some of them, who I profiled earlier this year. If you want to see why I choose them, just click on their names, they link back to the individual posts.
Neil Armstrong Albert Einstein David Suzuki Mother Teresa Aung San Suu Kyi Sulak Sivaraska Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi Tensin Gyatso Billy Graham Budhadasa Bhikkhu

Today I see many heroes around us in the world. Those who strive to make the world around all of us, a cleaner, safer, more peaceful place to live. To close I will disagree with the line from one of Tina Turner’s better songs, where she sings “We don’t need another hero”. I think we need everyone to be a hero these days, if we are to give our children a world where they can flourish.
For many more inspirational heroes click here.

Post Navigation

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything.

Sa-wat-dii From Thailand

Thoughts on the Peace Corps and Thailand

NorthThailand Blog

North Thailand photos and Travel destination information

Buddhist Art News

News on Buddhist art, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, and academia.

Nomadic Megan

Travel Blogger, Freelance Writer, TESOL Teacher & Professional Vagabond.

roselovesthailand

Just another WordPress.com site

Renard Moreau Presents

Cool Miscellaneous Thoughts

Walking with the Alligators

Speaking for those with no voice~

Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

where writing is a performance art and every post is a show

Gabriel Lucatero Official Website

Stories of a hard-working waiter

benbrilliant

Just another WordPress.com site

Untangling the Tangles

Teja's blog on Everything that Concerns US

words of wisdom

words of wisdon, where we share our thoughts.

Vincent Desrus's Blog

Blog created to make people think about the world around them

Stories That Are All True

...and some of them actually happened.

Dish With Clarissa

The incredible world of food from seedlings to your plate, and everything in between.

The Horror Online

Horror With Humour

Edmonton Journal

Edmonton Journal Blogs

IshaiyaFreshlySqueezed

An artist's work in progress: Metaphysics Applied in Real Time

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

art and practice

Schelley Cassidy Photography | What Is It?!?

Home of What Is It?!? - A Project in Perspective

MDCPhotographs

Smile and sigh with me if you like what you see.

Hannah Sterry

Musician, cartoonist and photographer based in Devon.

most good least harm

Living compassionately, spending less and appreciating life.

The Heart of Awakening

Searching for the New Paradigm

Metta Bhav

Jeanette Sealy Yoga

moodsnmoments

where some moods and certain moments last a lifetime!!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 339 other followers

%d bloggers like this: